The hard long battle IT department, maybe a way to win

GigaOm has a guest post on the problem of IT being in the back seat at so many companies.

Technology is king, so why are so many IT departments playing backseat roles?

by Bart Copeland, Guest Contributor




photo: aceshot1/Shutterstock

As employees feel increasingly entitled to take tech into their own hands via BYOD, the cloud and SaaS, IT is finding itself sidelined. The answer is for IT to redefine itself. Welcome to IT as a Service.

Today’s IT departments face an identity crisis. Technology is an integral part of every single business process, and has come to dominate the lives of consumers who are routinely shopping online, downloading information, and browsing the Internet.

Yet ironically, in an era when technology rules, IT departments are losing ground fast:  The forces of cloud computing, social media, and information management are evolving rapidly, and business managers are discovering and adopting new technology before IT departments even have a chance to master it. Gartner Research predicts that by 2015, 35 percent of most companies’ technology-related expenditures will be managed outside the IT department’s budget.

In order to thrive and have an impact in today’s businesses, IT departments must stay relevant. They must become service-oriented organizations. That means deploying user-centric and agile solutions that meet the business needs of the organization and individual departments. That means delivering IT as a Service (ITaaS), and becoming a team of service-oriented experts.

You can go on and on with defensive strategies which is what most would do.  How about take the offensive?  IT sells it's services to the businesses now that it has competition from the cloud.  Selling is in offensive activity. The challenger sale book goes into the five ways.

The research revealed that sales reps fall into one of five profiles:

  1. The Hard Worker
  2. The Problem Solver
  3. The Challenger
  4. The Relationship Builder
  5. The Lone Wolf

Each profile can turn in average performance, but only one consistently outperforms – the Challenger.

What does the Challenger do?

Challengers: What They Do Differently

While most reps focus on building customer relationships, the best focus on pushing customers' thinking, introducing new solutions to their problems and illuminating problems customers overlook.
Specifically, they:

  • Teach
  • Tailor
  • Take Control

Given IT is the technology group it seems natural that users would expect them to teach and tailor.  This is probably why Big Data is so popular as it addresses these needs.

The rest of the cloud services are using the Challenger approach.  Competing against a Challenger is tough if you don't show you can teach and tailor better than they do.

Selling security, centralized management doesn't go as far as it used to.